Compartmentalization is often described as a negative trait. Wikipedia has this to say:

“. . . a subconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person’s having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.”

However, the ability to compartmentalize when dealing with stressful situations is a true talent and if you have this ability it should not be taken for granted, as it is not a talent that all artists possess. Unfortunately, some people find themselves unable to focus on anything else but the Covid crisis and are preoccupied 24/7 with mentally paralyzing thoughts.

On the other hand, some artists handle stress by retreating to their studio to create new work or begin a new series. Other artists are wrapping their brains around career development projects that will be launched in the future – once the crisis has passed.

As many therapists have pointed out, compartmentalization is a skill. It is the ability to be afraid, angry, hurt, sad, or disappointed and put those feelings away until a time when you can better deal with them. Healthy people do it all the time.

For more on the subject: